USC hosts Sunshine State sleeper

South Carolina played host to St. Augustine (FL) sleeper wide receiver/safety prospect Carlton Lewis over the weekend, and the versatile athlete came away impressed with what the Gamecocks have to offer. Did USC impress the Sunshine State standout enough to vault to the top of his list? Read inside to find out.

The 6'3", 192 pound Lewis, who currently holds offers from South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Illinois, Indiana, South Florida and Marshall, has yet to be evaluated by, but Coach Steve Spurrier Jr. and the Gamecocks offered the emerging prospect after he impressed at one of their summer camps. Lewis made a return trip to Columbia on Saturday and enjoyed learning more about what USC has to offer, including touring the campus and interacting with several coaches and players.

"I went up to South Carolina this weekend," said Lewis. "It went good. I enjoyed myself up there around the players, coaches, fans and stuff. I went around campus and saw the classrooms, the dorms and stuff like that. That's the first time I'd gotten to see the campus, and it was really nice."

According to Lewis, he was also very impressed with USC's game day atmosphere.

"I'd been to the stadium before, but it was my first time at a football game there. It was crazy. I didn't realize how much people like South Carolina football up there. I got there at like one in the afternoon, and even then there were people tailgating. There was already traffic going down the road and the game wasn't 'til seven. They had a pretty good atmosphere to be in. I liked it a lot."

Lewis, who is being recruited by Coach Steve Spurrier Jr. for the Gamecocks, got a lot of individual attention from the Carolina coaches while in Columbia, including a one-on-one chat with the Head Ball Coach.

"I got the opportunity to talk with all the coaches, and I met Coach (Steve) Spurrier. I'd met him before, but I met him again before the game. He talked about getting me up there again to see another game and what their plans were for the (S.C. State) game and for the future."

Lewis is capable of playing both safety and wide receiver on the college level, and he specified what the Gamecocks are recruiting him as.

"South Carolina actually is recruiting me hard as a wide receiver. They said the first year they'll probably try me at both (wide receiver and safety), but mainly they're recruiting me as a wide receiver."

While this was Lewis' first game day experience at USC, he said it won't be his last, as he plans to return on an official visit later this fall.

"I'm going to set up an official (visit) with them for sure. I'll probably end up coming for a big game like that Florida game (on November 10) or something like that."

After such an enjoyable trip to South Carolina, Lewis admitted that the Gamecocks are making a strong push for his services and are currently one of his top teams.

"It definitely made them more on top right now after being in that atmosphere. They're probably closer to the top right now. I don't know about on top, on top. But they're in the top two probably with either Clemson or Wake Forest."

As for a timeframe on his decision, Lewis does not plan to make a commitment anytime soon, but he does know what factors he will be looking for when deciding on his college choice.

"I really can't say (when I plan to commit). I thought I wanted to make an early decision, but now it looks like I could be waiting close to Signing Day. Mainly, it's going to come down to how I fit in around the players and coaches and if I feel comfortable around the campus."

Lewis, who said he ran a 4.48 second forty yard dash at USC's camp this summer, discussed how his senior season is going thus far.

"We're 2-0 right now, and we're looking pretty good. I haven't got any picks yet, but I think I've got 13 tackles so far. On offense I want to say I have 9 catches for 187 yards."

Lewis said he also plans to set up visits with Illinois and Georgia Tech, and he believes that Clemson is close to extending an offer his way.

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